How to Use Influencer Marketing for Your CPG Brand

POSTED BY Greg Keating ON Jul 31, 2017 7:15:00 AM

Though influencer marketing has been around in the form of celebrity endorsements for decades, the type of influencer marketing used today on social media and the web includes something a little different. Today’s influencer marketing is a proven strategy for CPG brand marketing. If the superstar food blogger uses your brand of olive oil, you can seize a terrific marketing opportunity.

instagram user with camera

Influencer marketing makes sense, as long as you can genuinely expect a good ROI.

More than 60 percent of brands used influencer marketing in 2016, and the number is expected to approach 75 percent by the time 2017 is over. While it is expected to remain wildly popular, some influencers may be getting too big for their metaphorical britches, raising their rates and making brands think twice before signing with them. How can your brand successfully use online influencers for your CPG marketing campaigns?

Always Keep ROI in Mind

Some of the top Instagram influencers charge up to $20,000 for a single post. This Super Bowl-level spending will not have a positive enough return on investment to justify itself for most brands. Yes, huge brands have the budgets to pay an Instagram star tens of thousands of dollars, but most others do not, so it is imperative to keep ROI as a constant in the conversation throughout proposing and implementing an influencer-based CPG brand marketing campaign. Some advertising experts think influencer rates are approaching a “bubble” stage, and that rates could drop once brands start turning down expensive influencer contracts, but that has not happened yet. 

The Value of Visuals Cannot Be Overstated

Your product may be amazing, and the DIY project that incorporates it may turn out beautifully, but if it is not depicted in a photographically outstanding and affecting way, you should not bother. People expect beautiful photos of foods, clothes, and other CPG products on social media, so you cannot skimp on production values in order to sign a “bigger” influencer, because you will not get the results you want. Whether your visuals convey drama and artistry or everyday beauty, your visual “tone” should align both with the platform (Instagram versus Pinterest, for example) and the style of the influencer with whom you work. 

Ensure Product Availability

woman shopping among empty shelves

It is possible for an influencer campaign to be too successful, causing you to run out of the product you are promoting.

Do not become so caught up in signing an influencer and making gorgeous photographs that you neglect product availability. Influencer marketing can be amazingly effective, and if you cannot provide new customers with your product, you will lose those sales and risk damaging your brand. It may sound like a basic concept that no one would ignore, but it happens more often than you think. Be realistic about what you expect from your influencer campaign, but make sure you can provide enough product to satisfy people if you get the results you want. 

Learn About Micro-Influencers

The so-called micro-influencers are influencers who may have smaller audiences, but who engage them exceptionally well. Like “cult” movies, they may not be well-known to the world at large, but among a certain group, they can have outsized influence. 

The reason to research micro-influencers when planning your CPG brand marketing campaign is that if you find one of these hidden jewels, you can get a better return on your influencer marketing investment. If you have a product that targets a very specific consumer niche, then micro-influencer marketing may be your strongest bet once you determine who sets the tone for your target audience.

There is no question that Influencer marketing is hot right now. You now have the media channels and technology that can make influencer marketing work like never before. However, it is essential that brands understand that influencer rates are rising and carefully calculate expected return on investment whenever they sign with an influencer for CPG brand marketing. 

The stakes are high, and the visual-heavy content you produce for an influencer campaign must be second to none in quality. Additionally, you have to make certain you can meet demand for your product if your influencer campaign really takes off. Finally, many niche brands are finding that working with micro-influencers can be a tremendously effective way of reaching highly targeted consumer audiences. 


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